With over 20 years of public health and non-profit experience, Valeria exemplifies the necessary community-driven leadership for building health communities. Born and raised in New Jersey and a product of immigrants from the Dominican Republic and El Salvador, Valeria knows personally the challenges of growing up in a low-income community with limited resources. It has been her mission to advocate, spearhead and help in efforts that improve communities and help families thrive.
Valeria’s career has primarily focused on helping with efforts in the rising of Camden, New Jersey, where she held leadership roles at the YMCA of Burlington and Camden Counties and Cooper’s Ferry Partnership. For the past 10 years, Valeria provided leadership to the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids and Get Healthy Camden initiatives, a collaborative of multiple-sector partners seeking to advance policy, systems and environmental changes that create equity and sustainability for a healthier Camden. Her advocacy for community improvement covered multiple elements, or Social Determinants of Health, that impact everyday lives of Camden residents such as advancing school wellness, increasing access to open space for physical activity, expanding opportunities to address food insecurity, developing plans for improving access to transportation and addressing workforce development opportunities for the under- and unemployed, using equity as a core strategy. As a community coach for the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network, a state-wide funding network of coaching for improving communities, Valeria provided formal technical assistance to other New Jersey communities that have started to implement similar efforts across her home state.
Her work has been recognized with the “Best Collaborative Effort of the Year” Award from the Non-Profit Development Center of Southern New Jersey. South Jersey Magazine named Valeria both “Woman of the Year” and “Exceptional Women Entrepreneur & Executive” recognition. The Camden County Board of Commissioners recognized her as a “Sustainability Champion”, and the South Jersey Young Professional Association awarded her the “Angel of the Year” Award. She also received the “Distinguished Alumni Award” from Rutgers University and the “Healthy Communities Partner Award” from the Campbell Soup Company.
In the beginning of 2020, Valeria set off to use her experience to assist more communities and launched a consulting firm, ALTA Impact Partners. Valeria holds a B.S. in public health from Rutgers-New Brunswick Bloustein School of Public Planning and Public Policy and an M.S. in health education from St. Joseph’s University.
She resides in South Jersey with her husband and two sons.